The impact of an ageing population on healthcare results in increased demand for healthcare assistants. This profession, albeit challenging, can be incredibly rewarding – through direct contact with clients, healthcare workers can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Also known as nursing assistants or care workers, healthcare assistants work under the supervision of nurses or other healthcare professionals. Their main role is to look after clients in both hospital settings and client’s own homes.

To become qualified, healthcare assistants needs to complete a full award at QQI level in healthcare support or similar. Qualities such as good communication and observational skills, patience, willingness to be hands-on with clients, sensitivity and empathy are required.

Caring for people comes in myriad forms: one healthcare assistant’s job can entail monitoring vitals or serving meals in a hospital ward, another might find themselves taking blood samples and sterilising equipment in GP surgeries – but it can also mean simply having a chat with a client while helping clean their house.

Hundreds of thousands of people rely on support provided by home care services every year. Domiciliary (in-home) care is not limited to help for elderly people living at home; it is also for children or adults with disabilities.

“There is no place like home” applies especially when it comes to going through recovery or dealing with a chronic condition. Healthcare assistants are the vital ingredient in making it possible for people with physical issues, mental health problems or learning impairments to remain living where they feel most comfortable.

In this alternative to residential care, trained care workers help elderly or vulnerable clients go about their daily routines. This can involve assisting the client with showering and getting dressed, moving around the house, shopping for food, preparing meals, or  with eating.

Healthcare assistants may also be there to make sure the client is taking their medication, to help keep their home tidy, or assist them with accessing social and leisure activities.

Important practical matters aside, healthcare assistants also help their clients in another, less obvious way: by connecting with them, forming a close relationship based on empathy and kindness.

If you or a loved one are looking for a healthcare assistant and any other home care services, why not get in contact with Caremark. All our staff are garda vetted, have received comprehensive training, and are regularly reviewed, monitored and supervised.